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GPS Watch


A GPS watch knows where it is, and what time it is. Global Positioning System combined with a clock is a good combination, especially if it's small and light enough to carry around on a watch wrist strap or on a watch fob chain.

In addition to being able to tell you where you are and what the UTC time is, GPS watches could in theory have the extra feature of being able to tell you the Real Solar Time (as seen on a sundial, as a function of Longitude), where you happen to be. All this would require would be a bit of internal computation by the watch. Sidereal time could also be provided without much technical difficulty, and would be very useful in astronomy

Real Solar Time is the local time of day it is according to the rising and setting of the sun, and varies as a continuous function of longitude. It doesn't have "time zones" with whole number hour neat borders, but instead has a continuity of time based on exact east/west position. So, if you were travelling in a plane you'd see the time go by at a different rate to the time on the ground. This idea is also used in the jetlag prevention system which is also a shareware invention at this site. This is also the time system that's been adopted on Mars. See Time on Mars

Although I would be quite keen to know what the solar time is, and I might also like to check the sidereal time (time by the stars), I am not sure how popular the idea would be. But it wouldn't actually cost anything for watchmakers to add it as another snazzy feature to a GPS watch.

At the time of writing this, 2006/03/12, GPS watches were still very much in the "gadgets" market, for people who appreciate the technology as if it was an art form. The power consumption of the satellite navigation system in the watch was at the time still an issue, but I think that it would be possible for the watch to make good guesses based on its last known position and heading, and that would be good enough as an approximation.

I wrote this page primarily so designers of GPS watches could consider some of the extra possibilities which their technology allows, possibly things they might not have considered yet.

Meanwhile, customers looking for a snazzy watch may be interested in looking at the category of watches (portable timepieces which are also jewellery), and the category of gadgets where a wide variety of technological wonders are available.

When and if the GPS Watch is available, it will be in the category of GPS PLUS as well as in GPS Shops